Quarry Wood

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Canongate Books, Jul 1, 2010 - Fiction - 224 pages
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Introduced by Roderick Watson. When Martha gains a place at the university, her achievement is met with a mixture of hostility and pride by her uncomprehending family. It is there that she meets Luke (married to her friend Dussie) who is to haunt the years that lie ahead as she struggles to cope with the intellectual and emotional challenges that surround her at work and at home. This is essentially the story of a young woman’s journey to maturity and independence, her high ideals, and a slowly-growing awareness of her passionate nature. Nan Shepherd’s subtle prose and her understanding of the hidden currents which move people are matched by her intense and memorable descriptions of the natural world, and a dry sense of humour. The book has lost none of its freshness and originality since it met with high praise on publication over seventy years ago – four years before Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song.
 

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Contents

Aunt Josephine Leggat
1
Crannochie
6
Family Affairs
13
In Which a Latin Version Is Spoilt
22
Luke Comes in
42
Expansion of the World
50
Sudnry Weathers
58
Leggat Respectability
66
Torchlight
95
Crux of a Spiritual Adventure
111
Trouble for Aunt Josephine
124
Roy Rory Foubister
142
The Ironside Brand
163
Martha Flies in a Rage
183
Death of Aunt Josephine
197
The Pillars of Hercules
208

Beatrice among the Pots
72
Dussie Enters on an Affair of Moment
84
The Lustre Frock
90
Glossary
211
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About the author (2010)

Anna (Nan) Shepherd was born in 1893 and died in 1981. Closely attached to Aberdeen and her native Deeside, she graduated from her home university in 1915 and for the next forty-one years worked as a lecturer in English. An enthusiastic gardener and hill-walker, she made many visits to the Cairngorms with students and friends. She also travelled further afield - to Norway, France, Italy, Greece and South Africa - but always returned to the house where she was raised and where she lived almost all of her adult life, in the village of West Cults, three miles from Aberdeen on North Deeside. To honour her legacy, in 2016, Nan Shepherd's face was added to the Royal Bank of Scotland five-pound note.

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